16-Day Myanmar In-Depth Tour with Irrawaddy Cruise

16-Day Myanmar In-Depth Tour with Irrawaddy Cruise

By Ruby Zhao | Updated Sep. 28, 2023

This 16-day Myanmar tour is about natural and cultural discovery — you will go beyond the surface and have an in-depth exploration of Mandalay, Bagan, Inwa, and Yangon.

Uncover historic pagodas, climb the sacred Mount Popa, drift down the scenic Irrawaddy River on a luxury cruise, and feel refreshed at Ngapali Beach. Myanmar is always charming and ready to delight and amaze you.

You won't get the best out of this golden land until you connect with pious monks, hill tribes in Kalaw, and the Inle Lake locals by chatting with them.

Your experienced guide will show you the most authentic side of Myanmar and you'll avoid traveling within a crowd of tourists.




from US$3,927 P/P

Best For


Best Time

Oct. to Feb.

Tour Highlights

Unveil the monks' lifestyle by chatting with one of them.
Unveil the monks' lifestyle by chatting with one of them.
A laid-back cruise down to Bagan on the scenic Irrawaddy River.
A laid-back cruise down to Bagan on the scenic Irrawaddy River.
Trek through forests to learn how locals in primitive villages enjoy their lives.
Trek through forests to learn how locals in primitive villages enjoy their lives.
Discover floating islands and the unique lifestyle at Inle Lake.
Discover floating islands and the unique lifestyle at Inle Lake.
Feel refreshed at Ngapali Beach with a cool drink.
Feel refreshed at Ngapali Beach with a cool drink.

China Highlights, Asia Highlights, and Global Highlights collaborate to provide families and couples with personalized and stress-free experiences in diverse destinations.

Itinerary Details

This 16-day tour aims to cover the highlights and essence of Myanmar, which is defined as an authentic experience by travelers. The itinerary is flexible and can be adjusted to meet your preferences.

Day 1
Mandalay, Myanmar

Upon arrival, your guide and driver will greet you at the airport and drive you to your hotel. You will have the rest of the day to adjust to the jet lag or spend your free time wandering around your hotel.

Day 2
Mandalay | Inwa and Amarapura Impression

Mandalay is the second-largest city in Myanmar. The Burmese deities and ethnic identities are fully expressed in this city.

Start your trip by visiting Kuthodaw Pagoda. The superb sight of hundreds of tablets clustered around a main pagoda explains why it deserves the name of being the world's largest book.

Soak up Mahagandayon Monastery's pious atmosphere by witnessing thousands of pious monks standing solemnly to receive their food.

After having lunch, head to the ancient city of Inwa to visit Inwa Palace and the Bagaya Monastery.

Paddle in the river, hold your breath, and be amazed by the sight of U Bein Bridge stretching its enchanting outline in the fading light of the day.

Day 3
Mandalay to Bagan | Face-Washing Ritual and Cruising Down to Bagan

During your stay in a city of deities, why not join in with a holy ceremony? Get up early and follow the local devotees — you will see them take offerings to Mahamuni Buddha Temple and start a 1-hour face-washing ritual at 04:00./p>

You will arrive at Sagaing Jetty at about 10:00, ready to start your relaxing cruise on the scenic Irrawaddy River to Bagan. /p>

Have a short excursion to visit Yandabo Village along the way. Yandabo Village, where the Treaty of Yandabo was signed and the First Anglo-Burmese War ended, played an important role in history. You can learn some pottery handicraft skills from a local potter there. /p>

Stay overnight on the cruise ship, which will be moored near the tranquil Shwe Nann Tint.

Day 4
Bagan | Reaching Bagan by Cruise

You will have a short visit to a riverfront village before disembarking at Old Bagan Pier at about 09:00.

You will have a half-day visit to the Shwezigon Pagoda, which was constructed in 1060. It's the antecedent of a Burmese-style pagoda and the most recognized shrine in Nyaung-U. Before returning to your hotel, enjoy dinner at Nyaung U Market.

Day 5
Bagan | Thousands of Temples at Sunset

The stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bagan Archaeological Zone, is an ideal destination for every traveler. Hundreds and thousands of temples, stupas, and pagodas sprawl out solemnly and magnificently in the morning sunlight. As they sprawl out across 25 square kilometers, you will visit typical sites, such as the Ananda Temple, Dhammayangyi Temple, and the Mahabodhi Temple.

Your lunch will be at a local restaurant.

Conclude today's journey by taking an ox cart ride to see Bagan's splendor at dusk.

Day 6
Bagan | The Sacred Mount Popa

Depart Bagan with a 1½-hour drive. You will visit a scenic village with towering palm trees and get the chance to learn how the locals earn their living by scaling palm trees for juice and refining oil from peanuts and sesame seeds.

Head towards the mythical Mount Popa, which is home of the nats, 37 unsettled spirits. Nat worship is the third widely accepted religion in Myanmar, which holds the opinion that everything has its own spirit, and it predates Buddhism there. It's worth taking the 777 steps to reach Taung Kalat and get a bird's-eye view of numerous temples from the summit.

In the afternoon, you will be driven back to Bagan.

Day 7
Bagan to Inle Lake to Kalaw

You will be transferred to Kalaw upon your arrival at Heho (the airport town near Inle Lake) by flight.

Check in to your hotel and wander around Kalaw as you wish.

Day 8
Kalaw to Inle Lake | Trekking in Kalaw

Start your day by trekking along the Palaung people's trails to Ywa Thit Village. The idyllic scenery along the road makes this 9-kilometer trek very joyful.

Continue to trek and arrive at the Kalaw reservoir. Built in the 1920s, it's home to endangered birds. Rare birds including red-headed vultures, Mrs. Hume's pheasants, oriental pied hornbills, and sarus cranes can be found there.

Catch a rest on your way to Inle Lake by car, which takes 1½ hours.

Day 9
Inle Lake | Market Day at Inle Lake

A delightful visit to a local market, which is held every 5 days, will give you an overview of how the locals trade and live. You will never get bored at this bustling market, which has boats crossing the water and vendors selling exquisite handicrafts.

Move on to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the most important shrine for the locals.

You may be curious about the floating gardens and the skilled fishermen rowing their boats with one leg. As your boat cruises among narrow water lanes and past floating houses, you will learn about the ethnic cultures and traditions from your knowledgeable guide. The locals collect weeds from the depths of the lake to fertilize vegetables and fruits in their farmlands. The lake is their homeland, which they build and develop from generation to generation.

Day 10
Inle Lake | Floating Pagodas in Indein

Discovering Indein Village is the highlight of the whole day.

The magnificent Indein Pagoda complex is hidden behind narrow and meandering waterways and riverbanks.

You will visit the famous Nyaung Ohak to see hundreds of brick pagodas. Take a walk to discover the Shwe Indein Pagoda where thousands of small stupas spring out at the lakeshore. Their moss-covered surfaces reveal their historical story. There's no need to control your heartbeat from such a big and pleasant surprise — just enjoy the moment and store this charming sight in your memory.

After lunch at a floating restaurant, you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Day 11
Inle Lake to Yangon to Ngapali

You will arrive in Thandwe by flight and check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to do as you please.

Dress properly while sunbathing on the beach as a gesture of respect both to the Burmese and yourself.

Day 12 and 13
Ngapali | Free Beach Days

Enjoy some sunshine at the beach in Ngapali and feel refreshed with a cool drink.

Day 14
Ngapali to Yangon | The Shwedagon Pagoda Glittering at Sunset

Say goodbye to the relaxing beach vacation and take your flight to Yangon. On your way to downtown Yangon, stop at Aung San Suu Kyi's house where she was under house arrest for 15 years.

After lunch and checking in at your hotel, a visit to U Thant House will help you learn about a former UN Secretary-General's life and story.

The Shwedagon Pagoda is the holiest place for local devotees and is also the landmark of Yangon. This gilded pagoda is studded with nearly 5,000 diamonds and some gems. When the sun is setting, the pagoda glitters in the dusk. It is a picturesque, sacred, and particularly soul-touching sight.

Day 15
Yangon | A Close-Up Look at Yangon Life

Jump onto a train at Yangon Circular Railway for an overview of this city. This journey takes about 3 hours even though it's only 45 kilometers long. Being seated among different commuters on their way to schools, offices, and marketplaces will give you a better idea about the local people's daily lives and you can learn why Yangon is more laid-back compared with other capital cities in Southeast Asia.

A museum is the best place to learn about a city quickly. You will learn more about this city by visiting the National Museum of Myanmar.

Bogyoke Aung San Market is in memory of General Aung San. You can buy a variety of jewelry, carved wood utensils, and specialties there.

If you want to witness how important the giant reclining Buddha is to local devotees, Chaukhtatgyi Paya is a must-see.

Day 16
Yangon Departure

Your 16-day in-depth Myanmar tour has come to an end and your guide will transfer you to the airport for your onward flight back home. Thanks for traveling with Global Highlights and we hope to help you again soon.

Price Includes

Price from: $3,927 (Tour code: gh-ah-10)

One-to-one consultancy
One-to-one consultancy
Knowledgeable local guides
Knowledgeable local guides
Private drivers/driver guides and vehicles as listed
Private drivers/driver guides and vehicles as listed
Hand-picked hotels
Hand-picked hotels
Breakfasts and meals as listed
Breakfasts and meals as listed
Entry to all attractions on the itinerary
Entry to all attractions on the itinerary
Transportation as listed
Transportation as listed
A 24/7 helpline while traveling
A 24/7 helpline while traveling

Your 1:1 travel consultant will reply within 1 working day. Over 50% of our clients complete their bookings within 10 days of submitting their inquiry.

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Why Travel with Global Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)

  • Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
  • Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
  • Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.

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